You Had Me at Merry Christmas
I can't believe that at the age of 40 and being a huge fan of James Stewart I have not watched "Mr. Krueger's Christmas" because this is right up my street. Maybe it's because in my living memory it hasn't been shown on UK TV, but it is well worth finding if you are a fan of either James Stewart, Christmas or the real meaning of Christmas. And yes by that I mean this 26 minute short is a religious one which James Stewart made for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Now the story is simple as we follow Willy Krueger (James Stewart - The Shootist) as he leaves work on Christmas Eve to head to his basement home where he is the caretaker of an apartment block. He's an elderly man who whilst content with his life is also lonely, with things such as songs and photos triggering memories and dreams such as conducting The Mormon Tabernacle Choir in a Christmas concert. And it because of this that when he hears some carollers he invites them in for hot chocolate.
To be honest you can forget the storyline to "Mr. Krueger's Christmas" because this is a movie about 3 things; James Stewart, the nostalgic sounds of Christmas and the meaning of Christmas. Now who better that James Stewart to play a kindly old chap who wistfully remembers Christmases past and the friendly spirit which the season of goodwill once brought with it. You warm to him the first time he wishes someone a Merry Christmas and feel for him as he is ignored to go home alone to his cat where whilst content is also obviously lonely.
And to be honest it is partly James Stewart who makes the nostalgic side of it so heart warming, well that and the wonderful array of Christmas songs we hear with the sounds of The Mormon Tabernacle Choir still sounding brilliant. But it is also Stewart who delivers the heartfelt and heart-warming real meaning of Christmas side as he finds himself in one of his dreams at the birth of Jesus and thanking him for being by his side through out his life.
What this all boils down to is that "Mr. Krueger's Christmas" is simply a heart-warming little short which will not only put you in the Christmas mood but remind you about the real meaning of Christmas. And even if you dislike the religious aspect it is impossible not to warm to James Stewart as the kindly Mr Krueger or the wonderul Christmas songs sung so beautifully.